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With the recent announcement that Hilton HHonors is launching lifetime Diamond elite status, I thought I’d write a little reminder about another great (and faster!) way to earn Hilton Diamond status: spending on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card from Citibank.

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

As a reminder, the card offers the following sign-up bonus and benefits:

Sign-up Bonus: Earn 2 free weekend night certificates after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 4 months after account opening.
Rewards: Earn 10 HHonors points for ever $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio, 5 points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases, and 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Elite Status: Enjoy automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status as long as you’re a cardholder. Earn an upgrade to HHonors Diamond status when you make $40,000 or more in purchases each calendar year.
Benefits: Earn an anniversary bonus of one weekend night at select hotels and resorts after you spend $10,000 on purchases each year of cardmembership (starting from your annual fee date) and remain a cardholder. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $95

The Diamond status spending bonus is now based on the calendar year instead of the credit card/account year, which makes it easier to track your spending and make sure you’re on course to requalify. Diamond status normally requires 30 stays or 60 nights, or earning 120,000 base points in a calendar year, so if you won’t make those stay requirements, having a spending strategy in place can make a big difference.

One thing to note is that Hilton HHonors lifetime Diamond status requires you to do both of the following:

  • Qualify for Diamond status for 10 years (not necessarily consecutive);
  • Have at least 1,000 completed paid nights.

So while you can’t earn lifetime status simply by spending on your HHonors Reserve card (due to the paid nights requirement), you can spend your way toward the 10-year qualification requirement.

Hilton HHonors Diamond members receive free breakfast at almost all of their properties.
Hilton HHonors Diamond status confers valuable perks like free breakfast and internet, as well as points bonuses.

While $40,000 might be a bit steep for some folks, the card also grants automatic Gold status, and comes with an anniversary bonus weekend night when you spend $10,000 or more in a cardmember year. You can use that anniversary bonus night at almost all properties in the Hilton portfolio, including many top-tier properties like the Conrad Maldives or the Grand Wailea on Maui, where nights can go for anywhere from $500-$1,200 a night, easily outweighing the $95 annual fee. Check out Nick Ewen’s post on Maximizing Citi Hilton Reserve Free Nights for more info.

All in all, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve regularly ranks among my top travel credit cards for its overall great value, including the opportunity to earn elite status through spending, the free anniversary weekend night after $10,000 in purchases, and the fact that it’s easy to use abroad with no foreign transaction fees.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

This card’s sign-up bonus of two free nights can be worth as much as 190,000 points if you redeem them at top-tier properties like the Conrad Maldives, and it also confers automatic Gold status and the ability to earn Diamond status through spending.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio*
  • Earn 5 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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